Monday, April 28, 2014

Rules Preview for Land of the Free

Hello everyone. I have received several questions and I wanted to answer them in the hopes of giving you guys an idea about the rules of the game. I know this will generate more questions and I will do my best to answer what I can but the book is currently being reviewed and edited so I don't want to disappoint someone if something doesn't make the book. Anyways here is some information about the game.

Standard size or number of miniatures in a game?
Land of Free uses a flexible force building system utilizing 4 different sizes to represent your elements (units) in the game (tiny, small, medium, large). These sizes can represent anything that the players elect to play allowing gaming groups to play at smaller 'skirmish' level actions or bigger battles.

Troop ratio?
There is no set ratio because the players determine the size of their games.

Basing standard?
There are recommended basing styles in the book but again the basing is flexible to accommodate the myriad of existing collections in the world.

How does army building work?
Players must have a Force Commander and a minimum of two Group commanders. Each Group Commander must have a minimum of two elements (any size). So a legal army would be a Force Commander, Group Commander with 2 Elements, and another Group Commander with 2 Elements

Ground scale?
All movement and force setup in the game is standardized regardless of the scale of the miniatures.

Time scale? Battle and reality
The ordering system takes into account that an element is performing their actions over a couple minutes of combat time. In reality a game that consists of about 6-8 elements per side will take about 2 hours once the players know the rules.

Phases of the game?
The turn operates by Groups. One player will activate a group then activate each element within the group until all elements have had an opportunity to receive orders. Then the other player will do the same. The sides will continue to alternate activating groups until all groups and elements have performed their orders or passed. So an active element will perform all their moving, shooting, melee, etc. before moving to the next element.

How do orders work?
Each element has a number of maneuver and combat orders it may perform in a turn. These orders can be done in any sequence giving an element a measure of tactical flexibility. Maneuver actions are things like moving forward, backward, turning, wheeling, changing formation, and reloading their weapons. Combat orders are shooting and fighting a round of melee.

Unit stats?
A unit has the following stats: Maneuver, Combat, Discipline, Morale, Action, Points
The stats are based on the elements size but also can be influenced in the Advanced Rules by the elements type.
For example a medium element would look something like this:
Maneuver: 3, Combat: 3, Discipline: 3, Morale: 7+, Action: 4, Points: 25
Maneuver and combat are the number of orders an element may take in a single turn. See above. Discipline is the number of hits an element may take before it loses a level of discipline. Morale is the value or higher an element must roll on 2d6 in order to pass morale related tests. Action is the number of d6 dice the element roles for both shooting and melee combat. The points value is used for players wishing to play balanced games.

Historical aspect (theaters, scenarios, etc)
A lot of historical re-fights were written for the book but until the book has been edited I think it would be best to hold off on listing the battles. I tried to incorporate battles from all the wars that are represented by these rules. There is also a section on 'generic' scenarios that are typical of why these armies would fight.

If you are someone very interested in this time period and don't have any miniatures then your initial cost of investment could be quite low. For under $200.00 USD you could have your rules and both American and British forces to create some nice games. This value does not take into account a gaming table and scenery. The rulebook retails for around $35 USD leaving you $165 USD for miniatures. Wargames Factory is releasing 6 boxes of toy soldiers and even if they sell them at $30 USD a piece that will give you 5 boxes to choose from. More than enough to get you started and playing some decent sized games.

Special rules for different unit types?
The initial stats for the troops are generic allowing new players to quickly grasp the concept of play and issuing orders without the added confusion of special rules. In the Advanced Rules section I have added several element types that players can use in their games for an added points cost.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wargames Factory announces Continental Infantry box

Well, on Friday last week Wargames Factory announced their second box which is Continental Infantry. The big and most important two boxes are now out of the way and we are all anticipating what the final four boxes will be. Some very astute gamers pointed out that they can see and speculate on two more boxes which are just barely visible on the box cover below. The words 'Colonial Militia' are legible with several people thinking that the other box says 'Woodland Indians'. Well, only time will tell as I can't divulge any information. Needless to say I think the six boxes selected will make everyone very happy and hopefully the product line is successful enough to see more boxes in the future.

Here is a look at what has been posted on several sites including Wargames Factory.

I think the box cover is really cool since it looks like a cartridge box. The new artwork and box design is the best look Wargames Factory has done to date. Really ups the look and I believe the quality of miniatures will make this range a huge success.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Royal Clothing Warrant of 1768

With the announcement of Wargames Factory's British infantry box set I thought it would be a great opportunity to provide some details on the Royal Clothing Warrant of 1768. There are some really great guidelines that you can use when painting your regiments but keep in mind that many officers altered the look of their regiment based on the needs and available resources at the time. So, these are the governing principles which His Majesty's soldiers must adhere to but when you are thousands of miles from home what the King doesn't know won't hurt him. :)

Here is a reference picture with some of the terms that are used for the soldiers equipment and clothing.

Officers' Uniforms
  • Regimental coats are to be scarlet and faced with the regimental colors.
  • Buttons are to be stamped with the regimental number.
  • Grenadier officers wore an epaulette on each shoulder
  • Officers of the battalion companies were to wear an epaulette on the right shoulder. 
  • All officers swords of the regiment were to be the same design and the hilts were to match the regiment's buttons in either gold or silver. 
  • The tricorne or 'cocked hat' was to be trimmed in lace, gold or silver and each officer was issued a crimson silk sash which is to be worn around the waist knotted on the left hip. 
  • Gorgets would match the color metal of the regiment (silver or gold).
  • Grenadier officers would carry a fusil, short musket in addition to swords.
  •  Battalion company officers were issued spontoons. 

NCOs and Privates
  • Sergeants were to wear scarlet coats with regimental color facings.
  • Sergeants were issued crimson color sashes that would have a center stripe of the regimental color. Red faced regiments would have a white stripe. 
  • Grenadier sergeants were issued the same equipment as their officers. 
  • Battalion company sergeants were issued halberds and swords.

  • Corporals and Privates were to wear regimental coats consisting of madder red (red-orange) with regimental color facings.
  • Corporals were denoted by a silk epaulette on the right shoulder. 

  • Drummers and fifers of 'Royal' regiments were to wear red coats with blue facings and have the royal lace.
  • Drummers and fifers of regiments with red facings were to have white coats with red facings and lining.
  • Drummers and fifers of all other regiments were to wear the reverse colors of the regiment consisting of a coat matching the regimental color and red facings.
  • Drummers and fifers of regiments with either white or buff facings will wear red small clothes (waistcoat and breeches).
  • Drummers and fifers of all other regiments will wear small clothes in the regiments facing color.
  • Drummers and fifers would carry short swords.

  • Grenadiers, drummers and fifers wore black bearskin caps. The cap plate was silver and the back of the cap was red with a white cord. 
  • Fusiliers also wore bearskin caps but they were slighter shorter in height. 
  • Battalion companies wore the tricorne (cocked hat).
  • Sergeants' hats would have silver lace.
  • Corporals and Privates hats would have white lace.  
  • Tricornes of all ranks would have a black cockade. 

British Regimental Drums & Colours is a great resource for knowing the regimental colors and which regiments served in North America during the American Revolution. 

I hope this helps you as much as it will help me when painting my new soldiers.  Thanks.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Land of the Free rules officially announced and Wargames Factory British plastics preview

Hello everyone. The Land of the Free miniature wargaming rules have officially been posted for pre-order on several websites including Random House, Barnes & Nobles, Amazon, BooksAMillion, and McNally Robinson. Here is the front cover of the book. I am very excited about this project as Wargames Factory just posted their first picture of the British line box set.

The book will be released as a hardback on October 21, 2014 and hopefully over the coming months I will be able to leak some rules information and share some content. 

The first pictures show a nice variety of poses and beautifully painted by Matthew Leahy. From left to right: A line officer of the 22nd Regiment of Foot, a hatman firing, a hatman priming and loading, a hatman tearing the cartridge, a hatman at the recover, a sergeant halting the soldiers.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Wargames Factory announces American Revolution product range

Well, it is official and I no longer need to bite my lip any longer. For the past year Wargames Factory has been very quietly designing 6 brand new plastic sets for the American Revolutionary War and on Friday, April 4th they posted a very clever teaser showing the artwork for the box set. The picture was in the guise of a puzzle but once assembled you can see the artwork and contents of the box set. 30 miniatures will be contained in the British box but no news has been announced regarding the poses or the make-up of the soldiers. Over the coming weeks I am sure Wargames Factory will make more announcements and I am very excited about starting my brand new all plastic AWI forces.

For more information check out their website and follow the news on the forum.

I will also post what news I can on this blog as well.